The Federal Aviation Authority announced Tuesday that a new high tech surveillance system will be launched in Colorado to make airplane monitoring easier, more efficient, and more effective. Before this system, when a large aircraft entered a mountain valley, radar would go dead and air traffic controllers would be left blind to the plane’s whereabouts. Clearly unsafe, smaller Colorado airports were forced to turn away the larger aircrafts that were susceptible to this loss of radar, which resulted in a significant loss of revenue for both the airports and the state. The new surveillance system will incorporate sensors for more detailed mapping and air traffic control capabilities.
As aircraft approach a mountain valley, we have sensors that are located throughout the valleys, next to the runways, which allows us to see the aircraft as it descends and loses traditional radar service,” Travis Vallin, Director of Aeronautics with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said.
With this high tech surveillance system, three smaller regional airports will be able to accept larger airplanes with 700 passengers or more, improving the scope of air travel in Colorado.
“It’s not only the first time it’s been done here, it’s the first time it’s been rolled out in the United States,” Vallin said. “So, Colorado is a leader in this technology, and we hope to put it to good use.”
The Colorado Department of Transportation will share costs with the FAA in this joint venture to make air travel safer and more efficient.